It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?

Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!

I’ve been cutting it close the last few Fridays since it just happens to be the day I’ve been running errands and doing unfun adult stuff. But, alas, here we are. The elusive weekend.

After watching most of this year’s AGDQ speedruns, I got super motivated to tackle my Nintendo-related backlog; particularly the Zelda games. Mostly consisting of remasters, I’m working with Twilight Princess and Wind Waker HD on Wii U, Skyward Sword on Wii, Majora’s Mask 3D, Ocarina of Time 3D, A Link Between Worlds, Link’s Awakening DX, Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons on my 3DS, and I’ve been meaning to replay A Link to the Past on my SNES Classic. After mulling it over, I started off with Twilight Princess HD on the Wii U since it’s the only major Zelda release I’ve yet to play.

I know I’m late to the party here, but aside from the slow burn of its opening hours, I’m mostly enjoying this darker themed Zelda experience. Twilight Princess has Link shifting between the light and shadow realms, the latter of which transforms him into a wolf and changes up his attacks a bit. I like the more traditional bits quite a bit more than I do the awkward Wolf Link stuff, though. Wolf Link’s attacks feel a bit too erratic, and I’m not a big fan of the “hold B to kill everything” attack it relies heavily upon to clear rooms full of shadow dudes. I’m only 11 hours in, so I’d guess I’m at the halfway point, and thus far every Wolf Link section is an unremarkable affair that typically has me using his “wolf scent” to track down glowy insects in order to restore light to the realm, transform back to Dude Link, and tackle a traditional dungeon (complete with puzzles, magical weapons, and boss fights).

So far it’s shaping up to be my least favorite 3D Zelda, but even the worst Zelda is a good game. There are definitely things I love about it, like the tragic story of the Hero’s Shade that teaches Link new abilities. Granted, you’d have to read the Hyrule Historia to get the full story, but the Hero’s Shade is actually the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask; lamenting over having been forgotten by the people he risked his life to save and then dying before passing his skills along to his descendant. It’s weird to think of Link (the Shade version) having a voice and any form of emotional struggles, but it adds some depth the story that’s there if you’re willing to read into it.

I’m hoping to continue my adventure in Twilight Princess HD over the weekend. I have Wind Waker HD on deck, which I can’t wait to play now. Wind Waker is one of my favorite Zelda games and I never got around to its remaster on Wii U, despite purchasing it at launch. I know, I’m a terrible person.

Aside from Twilight Princess, I’m also chipping away at The Witcher: Enhanced Edition on PC. I picked up the first book in The Witcher’s novel series, The Last Wish, last summer and I’ve been meaning to play through the trilogy of games ever since. The graphics haven’t aged very well, as expected without mods, but the writing is superb. I’m somewhere in chapter two, playing Geralt the Detective, and I’m a bit overwhelmed by its bombardment of side-quests that aren’t separated from the main quest in the quest log (or I just haven’t figured out *how* they are). There’s a lot of running back and forth, waiting for the right time of day, and I got a bit tired of doing that so I’ve mostly been playing Twilight Princess. Still, I’m determined to finish it off. It’s not as if I’m bored.

As for progress updates, I’ve decided to shelve Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for now. It’s not doing anything for me and I pretty much loathe everything but the soundtrack, but I’d like to give it another go down the line and see how it takes. Sometimes I’m just not in the right state of mind for a game. I’d also really like to finish Final Fantasy XIII, but I left off in the middle of the open-world chapter when the fall semester started, dumped 115 hours into Persona 5, and now I don’t know what’s going on. I did love the game (yes, love) and I definitely want to continue on with XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, but I may have to YouTube the last few chapters and read a nice recap instead of struggling through it on my own.

My girlfriend and I subscribed to EA Origin Access because she really wanted to play through Dragon Age: Origins again and they have all three games (along with the Mass Effect trilogy and its accompanied DLC) included as part of the subscription. However, the app is complete garbage, their customer support is equally useless, and every game either failed to download, failed to install, or gave us errors when we tried to launch them on her laptop and my desktop. I dug through pages of support forms on their website, none of which were answered by EA reps, and we couldn’t get anything to work at all. Apparently, the games just don’t work well with the recent Windows 10 update and its C++ redistributable file. They require the 2010 version. Yay.

What about you, folks? Got any gaming plans this weekend?

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43 thoughts on “It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?

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  1. Some nice games to play! I’ll be working my usual ten hour shift on Saturday. Tonight I streamed some more DUSK now that New Blood has updated the Early Access build. It’s still nowhere near complete, but the second episode has been added, along with deathmatch. I haven’t tried the DM but Episode two has been as fun as the first. I was also surprised to see a couple of local YouTubers show up to see the game. RAX the Great, and Retro Gaming Arts. I’ve also been playing a lot of Splatoon 2, USFII, and another game on the Switch I won’t reveal yet. After I get out of work, I’ll probably stream some more DUSK. If the final game is as good as these incomplete builds have been, it could become a pretty big deal. At least to old geezers like me.

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    1. God, if D3 was ported to Switch I don’t think I’d need another game for at least 12 months. I’m having a case of FOMO (a term I hate) with Darkest Dungeon. I love RPGs, Lovecraftian stuff, and its look, but super challenging games do nothing for me. I just don’t have the discipline to keep at a single game until I understand its complexities anymore, so roguelikes have been a huge turnoff for a while now.

      How are you liking it so far? First time with it?

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          1. It’s hard enough but it turns off some features that increase the difficulty and reduce the amount of penalties you characters endure. There’s still a lot of satisfaction to be gained from taking down a boss.

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  2. I’m going to try and get Finding Paradise completed today, after replaying To The Moon last week. You recently recommended Rakuen – I didn’t realise this was made by Laura Shigihara!

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      1. Not yet, but it’s another one that’s on the list! Expect tears if you play To The Moon; I’m only partway through Finding Paradise and I can already tell it’s going to be just as emotional…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched a lot of AGDQ as well and that also made me want to learn some runs as well! So I will be trying to learn a Ori and the Blind Forest run. I will play some Rocket League, Super Meat Boy, pubg and Black Desert :)!

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  4. I’m surprised you’re having trouble with Origin Access. I’ve never had a single problem playing anything on it. I own Dragon Age Ultimate Edition and it works beautifully on my PC.

    I’m still trying to finish Xenoblade 2 and I got back into FF14. The surprising part is I freaking love it :).

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  5. I have the joy of working part of this weekend but I’m hitting a couple betas outside of that. The Monster Hunter: World beta was ok. It looks really good and plays pretty smooth outside of one crash. I just don’t think it is a game I’m into. Never played any other Monster Hunter games and this one just isn’t grabbing me. The other beta is Metal Gear Survive. I expect very little from this game and it’s more of a situation where I just want to see what Konami is doing with this game. Just watching the videos for the game give me the fear that they are just using the Metal Gear assets and name on a game that really isn’t Metal Gear just to draw people in so they can make a buck.

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  6. I’m also finding myself with more work this weekend, so it looks like I’m going to have to power through that instead. But I’m beginning to think of work as being like a game, with objectives and scoring systems. So that’s at least helping me keep going.

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  7. Twilight Princess is up there as one of my favorite Zelda games, BUT I watched it, so I don’t have any gameplay gripes. That can ruin any experience. It’s one of the main problems people had with Skyward Sword. The controls were kind of wonky.

    I’ve been obsessively watching Olizandri play Color Splash, speaking of gameplay gripes. Storywise it’s a fun ride (plus his voices and enthusiasm make it so enjoyable!), and I think I might actually try to play it, but I don’t have a Wii U, and they’re hard to find and/or expensive when you do. I’ve been so preoccupied with this that I haven’t really played anything except for the demo of Embers of Mirren, this puzzle game with an awesome aesthetic and sort of duel control aspect. You need to be good with your hand eye coordination in addition to problem solving. I’ll probably play some more Etrian Odyssey tonight though since it is le weekend.

    I bought a $50 Switch eShop card and a $20 Steam card, so I bought Voez, OPUS: The Day We Found Earth, and Thimbleweed park for the latter, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and Undertale for Steam. I also downloaded the first episode of Life is Strange for Free. Steam has great customer service. I accidentally ripped the code off my card, but was able to get it resent to me,

    I think I downloaded a few more Switch demos like Just Dance 2018. I bought a little under desk bike because I’m trying to do what cardio I can, but I’ve always loved the kind I can incorporate with gaming :)

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    1. I always play my Switch (and formerly Vita) while riding the bike. Makes the time go by much faster, yeah?

      I lived in a tiny apartment so anything with flailing motion controls didn’t work too well. Needless to say, I never made it very far in SS.

      You’ll have to let me know how VOEZ is! Everything you picked up is pretty great. Hopefully, you dig Undertale as much as I did. Glad Steam sorted out the card issue as well. They’re pretty good about customer service-type stuff. Thimbleweed ruled! I needed a guide for some parts, but I really loved it. Enjoy everything!

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      1. Yuuup, I used to play Words With Friends on my phone back when that was a thing. Now I usually read or play a game that doesn’t require me to hold the system still.

        Voez is amazing. I feel like a proper DJ lol. It reminds me of DDR but for your hands. I’m really looking forward to playing all the things. I started OPUS and it’s really adorable but bittersweet.

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        1. I submitted a request to review VOEZ when the Switch launched, but Nintendo doesn’t give their indie devs many keys to hand out and they were gone before they even received my email lol. It looks rad, though. I had a lot of fun with Superbeat XONIC, which is on Switch now. Lots of unfamiliar songs, but it plays well.

          I tend to play mindless stuff on Switch on the bike. Steamworld Dig 2 was my go-to for a bit, then grinding in Xenoblade 2 before I got sick of the game entirely. Skyrim is my current workout game since I’ve played it to death twice already.

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          1. I need to add that to my list. I freaking love rhythm games.

            I’m going to see if I can do something like that. I can actually use the desk bike with either feet OR hand.s My stupid chronic fatigue is a pain with that though. I did it for 20 minutes Saturday and was wiped all day Sunday and was still tired and pissed on Monday. This is putting a damper on my training to run a mile plans AND my desire to outrun the zombie hordes when they come, and you KNOW they’re coming.

            Damn that sucks about Xenoblade. I know it wasn’t cheap :\

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            1. I reviewed XONiC on Vita and really enjoyed it, but only with touch controls. It was a nightmare when using standard controls.

              I’m going to keep Xenoblade 2 around and maybe give it another shot if I’m jonesing for a massive JRPG on the go. Nintendo games never go down in value, so whether I sell it now or a year from now I’ll get the same amount of money.

              Chronic fatigue sounds pretty brutal, yeah? I have pretty good cardio, but my motivation is always rock bottom. Yay, depression.

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            2. Really? About Nintendo games? I never knew that! Good to know if I ever want to sell, though I think out of all the games I have, I’d be less likely to give up my Nintendo ones. Maybe nostalgia, maybe stubbornness hehe.

              It sucks dude. On top of that I have the depression thing, too, which exercise would help because endorphins, but then I’d have to contend with the fatigue knocking me out for days. It’s like this never ending battle. I’m going to try the melatonin thing we were talking about on the Twit though. Here’s hoping springtime will bring us both some relief, because SAD (which is #lolsob name for it) is totally a thing.

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            3. Yep! Nintendo exclusive games rarely drop in price or value, and they don’t often drop much in price during sales in stores or on the eShop itself. I can go to Walmart right now and they still have certain Wii and Wii U games at full price. Even when the Wii U was dead leading up to the Switch launch, nothing really dropped in price barring a buy 2 get 1 Best Buy sale or something. I did score Mario Maker for 50% off, though.

              Best of luck with the melatonin. It does nothing for me. What does work a bit is a non-habit forming sleep aid that’s the Equate brand that Wal-Mart sells. They’re little blue tablets. I take two an hour before I’d *like* to fall asleep and they typically make me tired, but my mind always wanders when it’s bed time and keeps me awake regardless. Or I’ll only stay asleep for 2-3 hours and wake up unable to fall back asleep at all.

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            4. Geez Nintendo…I did notice that the Wii U itself is difficult to find and really expensive when you do so (if I haven’t mentioned it before). That system just seems plagued with difficulties. It’s probably why the Switch came out so quickly after it. I kind of feel bad for the Wii U. I’ve found quite a few games on it that I’d like to play and would be willing to shell out a couple of hundred dollars to buy the system, but I’d much rather wait to see if they’re ported to the Switch.

              I just got some of the melatonin pills. I’ll give them a try maybe tonight to gauge how I”ll be before trying them before a work night. I never thought I’d be plagued with insomnia tbh. I ALWAYS slept in/slept late/overslept/wanted to sleep, but it’s like there’s a mental block to it even though I’m always tired. I have the busy mind, too, and sometimes I’m happy for it, because I”ll figure out some problem, but I detest the waking up at 4 in the damn morning.

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  8. Twilight Princess is my favorite Zelda. Dungeons are my favorite part of Zelda and I think it has the best. Particularly the stretch from dungeons 4-7. Different Zelda games excel at different things though so it is tough for me to rank them all.

    I finally finished Assassin’s Creed: Origins! I certainly had some issues with it, but it was a good time and definitely among the better games in the series. I generally liked the new direction and combat. And the setting was awesome. Haven’t really dug into anything since other than continuing to replay the Jak series which I have been doing inbetween new stuff I’ve been playing.

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    1. So far I’ve only finished Forest Temple and Goron Mines in TP. Really liked Mines but Temple was hit or miss. Still fun, though. It’s mainly the wolf stuff I don’t care much for.

      I *loved* Origins. The setting ruled and Bayek was the best written assassin yet IMO. Enjoy Jak!

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